Dr. Dawn Hughes, a clinical and forensic psychologist, was the first witness brought by Heard’s legal team as they began their defense on Tuesday in Fairfax, Va., in Depp’s libel lawsuit against the ex-wife Heard. Hughes gave a professional analysis opposite to that of the forensic psychologist brought to the stand by Depp’s team last week, who said Heard had no signs of PTSD. Instead, Hughes said the the actress has post-traumatic stress disorder sparked by what she called “Mr. Depp’s intimate partner violence”.
Hughes reviewed Heard’s medical records, past depositions and met with the actress four times in person and twice via Zoom, totaling approximately 29 hours. She also interviewed some of Heard’s treating doctors and the star’s late mom paige.
During his testimony, Hughes described several of Heard’s sexual assault allegations against Depp. Hughes said Heard claimed he had digitally penetrated her more than once and that he had, at one point, penetrated her with a bottle of alcohol. Heard told Hughes that Depp would have an alcohol-fueled “rage” that often led to these acts, according to Hughes’ testimony.
“There are indications, as I mentioned before, of sexual assault and sexual abuse, and how he would do it, when he was angry and when he was drunk – it was mostly drug and alcohol fueled rage when he was throwing on the bed and trying to have sex with her,” Hughes said. “Then, you know, if he wasn’t able to play, he would get more mad at her and blame her. We have this dynamic of blaming her for her inability to take responsibility for her behavior.”
Heard’s therapists were concerned for her safety, Hughes said, and the actress sometimes “fighted back.” She also testified that Heard had engaged in psychological assault and that “she was very ashamed and remorseful about it”, as well as some reactive violence.
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Hughes said, based on notes from Heard’s therapists, “There were times when [Depp] forced her to perform oral sex on him when he was angry. These were not moments of love; they were moments of anger, moments of dominance, moments of him trying to control her.”
Once, after Depp accused Heard of flirting with someone while out in Hicksville, New York, “Mr. Depp performed a ‘cavity search’ and was apparently looking for drugs and felt that it was okay to rip off her nightgown and stick her fingers in her vagina to look for cocaine and I thought maybe she was hiding it there,” Hughes said.
“There was another incident in the Bahamas where when he got mad he took his fingers and put them in her vagina and moved her violently in the closet,” she said. continued, adding: “And, of course, the incident in Australia – one of the most serious cases of sexual abuse Ms Heard has had to endure – when he beat her, choked her and said, ‘I will you f—–g kill you. I hate you .’ … He grabbed a bottle that was on the bar and penetrated her with that bottle.”
Hughes said: ‘Mrs Heard reported to me that she had dissociated and exited her body. The only thing on her mind was, ‘Oh my God, I hope that’s not the one is broken.
Heard, 36, appeared emotional as she listened to Hughes’ testimony from his seat in the courtroom, where Depp, 58, was also present. the Aquaman The actress has yet to take a stand, although she is expected to be sworn in this week.
When his lawyer Ben Rottenborn, in his opening statements, referred to Heard’s sexual assault allegations as well as other forms of domestic violence she suffered, a spokesperson for Depp denied the allegation, calling it “fictional” and “for the purposes of Hollywood shock value which Amber mastered and used to exploit a serious social movement”.
Rottenborn said that Heard “was sexually abused at the hands of Depp. … You will hear in the most graphic and gruesome terms of the abuse she suffered. You will hear it directly from her. She will go up on the stand and she’ll tell you. It happened.
Depp is suing Heard for defamation for a grandstand 2018 she wrote for the Washington Post about surviving domestic violence, although she never mentioned Depp by name in the article. the Pirates of the Caribbean The actor originally filed the $50 million lawsuit in March 2019.
Depp, who has repeatedly testified under oath that he has never hit Heard or any woman, testified that his ‘goal is the truth’ as he seeks to clear his name at the trial, which is being televised in live through various media. Before the trial, Heard said in a statement that “I hope when this matter is over I can move on and Johnny can too. I have always had a love for Johnny and it pains me very much to have to live the details of our life spent together in front of the world.”
Back in November 2020, Depp lost his highly publicized UK libel case against the British tabloid The sun for calling him a “woman beater”. The court upheld the outlet’s claims as “substantially true” and Heard testified to support those claims. In March 2021, his attempt to cancel the decision has been canceled.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-800-799-7233or go to thehotline.org. All calls are free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in over 170 languages.